Ada Handbook 2018-2019 Academic Year

Welcome to the 2018-2019 Academic Year Ada Handbook and Reference Guide. Please explore this site for information and resources. For any additional questions, feel free to reach out to your Ada Coordinator!


The Smith College Ada Comstock Scholars Program combines rigorous academic challenges at Smith with flexibility for students beyond the traditional college age. Approximately 100 Ada Comstock Scholars are enrolled at Smith; the overall student population is more than 2,500. The Adas are a remarkable and diverse group of students. They range in age from their 20's to their mid-60's, some come to Smith single, some are married or live with partners. Most Adas transfer in approximately 50 college credits in liberal arts courses. The program provides various options: reduced course loads, special academic advising, career counseling and some on-campus housing options. Financial aid for educational expenses is available to each student with demonstrated need.


Andrea Rossi-Reder, Ada Class & Junior Class Dean

As Dean of the Ada Class, Andrea concerns herself with the academic welfare of each Ada: she provides academic counseling regarding transfer credit, fulfilling course requirements, graduation status and exceptions to academic rules. Students call on Andrea when they need extensions on work and/or when they experience emergencies that impact their academic life.

Marge Litchford, Assistant Dean of Students

Marge, herself a non-traditional college student, loves working withAdas. In her role as assistant Dean of Students, Marge coordinates student-focused programs, including Orientation and Family Weekend.

Email: mlitchford@smith.edu

Hannah Durrant, Associate Director of Residence Life

Hannah is a member of the Residence Life professional staff. She works collaboratively with the director of Residence Life, primarily in programming, training and recruitment. Hannah Also works closely with Area Coordinators and student staff as well as advises The House Presidents Association and directs the campus wide social system.

Email: hdurrant@smith.edu

Sidonia Dalby, Associate Director of Admission & Ada Advisor

Sid works in the Smith's Office of Admission recruiting and selections prospective students. She also spends 20% of her time working with Student Affairs, serving as a non-academic Ada Advisor. Sid sponsors regular lunches in Hopkins Lounge and is available for advice and support.

Email: sdalby@smith.edu

Karen Sise, Associate Registrar & Ada Cabinet Advisor

A former Ada Comstock scholar, Karen recently completed her Master’s degree in higher education administration at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. At Smith, Karen evaluates transfer credits for Adas and serves as the she is the adviser to the Ada class cabinet.

Before becoming an Ada herself, Karen worked as a sound engineer and from time to time can still be found mixing bands at local venues.

Email: ksise@smith.edu

Audrey Voskoboinik, Assistant Director, Student Financial Services

Audrey reviews eligibility for federal and institutional aid, counsels students and parents with a focus on the Ada Comstock Scholar and graduate student aid programs. She is also responsible for veterans' educational benefits.

Rob Simmons, Lower Elm Area Coordinator

Rob's role at Smith is comprised of advising and managing eight residential buildings housing over 270 undergraduate students, including three that house the Ada Comstock Scholars. If you are experiencing any issues surrounding on-campus living, Rob can help!

Email: rsimmons@smith.edu

The Ada Class Student Cabinet

The Cabinet is comprised of the President (or Co-Presidents), Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Historian, Senators and many other positions. Elections are held each spring; positions not filled are posted for the fall and voted on at the first fall cabinet meeting.

Cabinet meetings are open to the entire class. Meeting time and location are announced each semester. *Please consider participating in student government as it benefits both the Ada Class and entire Smith Community.

Special Ada Activities

Peer Mentor Program: This program was developed to assist entering Adas with their transition to life at Smith College and Northampton. The Program is operated by current Adas paired with one or more entering Adas

Ada Class Luncheons & Teas: Throughout the year, lunches and teas are another way for Adas to meet and get to know each other. Lunches and are usually funded by the Office of Student Affairs, and teas by the Ada Class Cabinet. Sid Dalby also hosts a few small lunches in Hopkins Lounge.

Lunch with the Deans: Assistant Dean of Students, Marge Litchford and Ada Class Dean, Andrea Rossi-Reder sponsor a luncheon for all Adas each fall. This is a way to get to know your deans better and catch up with fellow Adas.

Faculty Wine and Cheese Parties with Adas: Each semester, the Ada Class hosts one of its most beloved events, Wine and Cheese with Faculty. Hosted in the Alumnae House, these bi-annual parties serve as a opportunity to become better acquainted with your professors. Adas make or bring dishes sweet and/or savory dishes and chat with invitees over food and wine!

The Ada Monologues: For seven years, the Ada Class has put on a very special show, The Ada Monologues. Fashioned after the renowned "Vagina Monologues", Ada write a short personal story of their journey to Smith. The stories are read by the authors or sometimes, other Adas. Performances are held on a Friday and Saturday later in the Spring semester.

Senior Send-off: This event is a special tradition wherein Adas gather together to wish graduating Adas well and to celebrate their upcoming commencement. Some seniors read from their "What I hope to get out of my Smith experience" statements that we each write during orientation. Senior send-off is a very moving event, and all non-seniors are highly encouraged to attend. (An informal dinner is held for J-grads at the end of the fall semester.)

Ada Comstock Scholars; Sources of Information


  • The Smith College website at www.smith.edu includes links to the Lazarus Center for Career Development, BannerWeb, course information, library services, college offices and more!
  • The Smith Social Network (SSN) features an Ada Comstock page. This is a very important source of information about upcoming Ada events and campus‐wide events and news. Student leaders and Student Life staff will also post here regularly. https://smith.collegiatelink.net/
  • The Ada Comstock Class Facebook pages are great ways to connect with other Adas, whether they are current, prospective or already graduated. https://www.facebook.com/ada.comstockclass https://www.facebook.com/groups/adacomstockscholars
  • The Smith Portal is a customized web site from which Smith students, faculty, and staff can access many Smith web‐based services and information sources from a single sign‐on. https://portal.smith.edu/

ID Cards, Mail, Lockers, Etc.

Identification Cards:

The Smith OneCard is the Smith College ID card issued to all Smith students, faculty, and staff. In addition to identifying your status at Smith, your OneCard is your interface to the OneCard Transaction System which supports a variety of services on campus, including:

  • Library circulation
  • Dining Services in Smith residence houses
  • Door access
  • Access to Campus Cash
  • Printing from campus computers (note: printing is free in Hopkins Lounge, but it is asked that you print no more than 10 pages)

The Smith OneCard is also the only accepted means of identification for the following:

  • Receiving exams
  • Writing checks in the bookstore
  • Using athletic equipment and facilities
  • Receiving student rates for college activities
  • Activities and facility use at the other four colleges

If your card is lost or stolen, notify the college immediately. A replacement card will be issued for a fee. Go to http://www.smith.edu/its/onecard/index.html for further information.

Campus Mail and E-mail:

All campus mail will be delivered to the mail center in the Campus Center. If you have mail you will be notified via email. In addition, important college information will be sent to your Smith email account. It is important to read all notices that are sent to you! Check your Smith email often. It is essential to keep the registrar and the class deans’ office informed of any name or address changes.

Lockers ~ where can I find them?

  • Hopkins Lounge has 40 lockers available for use. Lockers are available on a first-come basis. You must supply your own lock and contact your Ada Coordinator with your locker & lock information. Lockers must be cleared out at the end of Spring Semester.
  • Ainsworth/Scott Gymnasium has small size lockers available. You need to register at the main office on the first floor of the gym and there is a minimal deposit.
  • Unassigned lockers in the women’s locker room in Ainsworth Gym are available but you must register your locker at the main office and supply your own padlock. The locker will then be available to you for the year.
  • Seeyle Basement has 15 lockers specially reserved for Adas. These lockers are available on a first-come basis. You need to provide your own lock. Please contact your Ada Coordinator if you need one.

Campus Locations to Relax and Study

Ada Comstock Lounge (Hopkins Lounge) - Hopkins House Garden Level: Exclusively for Adas, the Ada Lounge or 'Hopkins Lounge' serves as a place to gather with other Adas to study and relax. Amenities include; kitchenette, bathroom, television, computers, printer, couches, table, chairs and lockers. The lounge is available to all Adas 24/7 during the Academic year and can be accessed with your Smith OneCard. *Children accompanied by parents are welcome, but please be respectful of those studying.

Campus Center: This unique space houses the mail center, Grecourt Bookstore, Campus Cafe and plenty of spaces to study!

Seelye Hall Basement: Home to the Technology Learning Commons, this space contains a computer lab (with printing and scanning) open to all students. Check out the bulletin boards, as they are filled with postings for used books, odd jobs, lectures, and other announcements.

Campus Lounges: Here's a list of places where one can study or simply relax

  • Clark Corner, Sabin Reed Hall
  • The Gamut Performing Arts Center, Green Street
  • Bass Hall Yellow Room
  • Smith Museum Atrium
  • Wright Hall
  • Ford Hall Atrium
  • Graham Hall
  • OR, have fun exploring the campus and find your own favorite spot!

Athletic Facilities: The athletic facilities at Smith College are extensive and offer a nice break from the a hectic study schedule. The combination of two gyms with a fitness center, swimming pool, rock climbing wall, squash and tennis courts and an indoor track afford opportunities for participation in physical activity and many sports.

All of the athletic facilities are available to Adas with your OneCard. Family members may use the facilities when accompanied by a student and there are also designated hours for family swim. Smith students may bring up to three guests to the gym. With a Smith OneCard, students may also check out various pieces of equipment including but not limited to: tennis or squash rackets, volleyballs and roller blades. Towels are also available with your OneCard.

*Be sure to check out free fitness classes offered through the Get Fit Smith program. Classes includes: yoga, Pilates, Zumba, spinning, and much more! Schedules are posted at the beginning of each semester. See smithpioneers.com for more information or "like" Get Fit Smith on Facebook.

Smith Traditions & Events

Fall Semester:

Campus Colors: According to the college archives, the college color is white, hence the white dresses for Ivy Day and and the Alumnae Parade. In the 1970's, the athletic teams began wearing blue and white for competition (blue uniforms were easier to clean). The logo uses the colors blue and gold for a modern look.

Convocation: Convocation takes place the night before the beginning of classes in September. The faculty marches into JMG (John M. Greene) Hall donned in their academic regalia. The ceremony consists of short speeches by the president of the college, SGA (Student Government Association), music by the Smith College Glee Club, and A LOT of cheering. It is a loud and raucous way to start the academic year. Ada can be found sitting in their special section, front and left of the stage.

Mountain Day: Every Fall semester, Smith's President chooses a beautiful day at random, for a surprise holiday! All classes are cancelled and students are encouraged to spend the day enjoying the outdoors. The college provides free shuttles and admission to a near by apple orchard and bagged lunches are provided. The holiday is announced by the ringing of the college's bells (and by email). Adas usually coordinate via text or in the group chat. Whatever you decide to do, don't forget to grab some hot apple cider and cider doughnuts in the morning, outside of the President's house.

Otelia Cromwell Day: Each November, the college honors Smith's first African-American graduate, Otelia Cromwell. The day's events include: workshops, lectures, films and entertainment. Afternoon and evening classes are cancelled so that students can attend these events. Otelia Cromwell Day continues the college's efforts to create a diverse and multicultural community.

Spring Semester:

Rally Day: Held in February, Rally Day is a college holiday to celebrate the Smith community. The college President awards "Smith College Medals" to distinguished alumnae and a prominent speaker addresses the student body. Rally Day is also the first day that seniors may wear their commencement robes. Instead of mortarbaords, the seniors wear colorful, fun hats of their own--the more outlandish, the better!

Ivy Day: One of the special events held on the Saturday of Commencement Weekend, Ivy Day brings together seniors and alumnae to celebrate graduating students' transformation into almunae. The day begins with the alumnae march, from the oldest to the youngest classes, through two lines of seniors wearing white dresses and holding roses. After the march, junior ushers, carrying a laurel chain, symbolizing the college ivy, lead the seniors in the Quad wherein the graduating class plant ivy sprigs at the base of a campus building. Prizes and awards are announced by chief administrators.

~ ~ ~

Student Government Association and Clubs/Organizations

The Role of Ada Comstock Scholars in the SGA

Every year, the Ada Class elects Ada class representatives in the following positions to speak for and address the interests of the class. These positions are:

  • Ada Class President (or Co-Presidents) - must have served on Ada Class Cabinet previously
  • Ada Class Vice President - must have completed at least one semester
  • 2 Ada Class Senators - open to all Adas, no experience on Ada Class Cabinet neccessary

SGA Committees

The SGA announces open committee positions in early September. This is an opportunity to become involved with student, faculty, or administrative committees which can offer knowledge and experience beyond that learned in the classroom. There are positions on the following committees that one can apply to: the Curriculum Committee, The Honor Board and the college Conduct Board for Adas (the college Conduct Board requires that you have an accumulations of 64 credits in order to apply).

Student Clubs and Organizations

The SGA allocates a large amount of its yearly budget to more than 100 student organizations and clubs of various kinds, including departmental major clubs. Majors with clubs meet regularly and are also open to non‐majors. Club meetings are posted on bulletin boards. The Smith Social Network (https://socialnetwork.smith.edu) is a great way to find an organization and to interact with other members online.

Campus Attractions

Smith College Museum of Art: The collection of art housed at Smith's art museum started in 1879 and includes work from all periods, with a special focus on 19th century American and French works. The Museum provides gallery talks, special exhibitions, lectures, and occasional bus trips. There is also a gift shop with may fun and unusual gifts!

Botanic Garden, Lyman Plant House & Surrounding Gardens: Make sure to to pay a visit to the Botanic Garden and Lyman Plant House! Banana trees with ripe fruit and beautiful orchids can be found and are inspirations during dreary winter days. There are also plant/flower shows every November and March. Additionally, the Smith campus is an arboretum, designed by noted architect Frederick Law Olmsted, and most of the tress and shrubs across campus are labeled.

Paradise Pond: The small pond, which flows with Mill River, provides a place for fun water or ice activities each season. Canoes, rowboats and kayaks are available at no charge from the Boat House. Check out a boat on a sunny day or study by pond!

  • Your OneCard is needed to check out all boats.
  • Beyond your OneCard, in order to check out a boat you must first take a swim test. (Tests are administered in the fall.)

Things to do in Northampton


Arcadia Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary. A Massachusetts Audubon Society reserve open to the public for a minimal fee. There are easy hiking trails throughout, which also provide for cross‐country skiing during the winter. A Natural History Summer Day Camp is available for children. Route 10 between Northampton and Easthampton.

Childs Park. This park is approximately one mile from campus and is a lovely, relaxing place to eat lunch, study, or take a leisurely bike ride. Elm Street (Route 9), Northampton. Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) State Forest. Located on the western edge of the Pioneer Valley, DAR is best known as a camping and swimming recreational area. Within its acreage, however, are about 14 miles of foot and bridle trails and gravel & dirt roads. The most direct way to reach the forest from the Northampton area is to follow MA‐9 (Berkshire Trail) 15 miles to Goshen and turn right (north) onto MA‐112. The well‐marked entrance to the forest is located on the right about a mile up. During the summer months, a small fee is charged for parking. *If you wish to avoid the parking fee, your other option is to drive north on Rt. 112 and then east on Rt. 116. From South Ashfield, follow paved Williamsburg Road south for about 3 miles and then turn right onto Ludwig Road taking you to the park’s west boundary and a gate. This information is taken from Hiking the Pioneer Valley, by Bruce Scofield.

Look Memorial Park. A year‐round recreational park with picnic areas, tennis courts, miniature golf, outdoor theatre, duck pond, sprinklers in the summer, and other recreational activities. Cost is just a few dollars per car, with inexpensive season passes available. Just a couple of miles west, on Route 9, Florence.

Northampton Bike Path. This paved trail originates at the end of State Street and meanders several miles through wooded areas and Look Park into Leeds. A great place to bike, rollerblade, jog, or take a leisurely walk without the noise of traffic

Norwottuck Rail Trail. A ten‐mile path linking Northampton, Hadley, and Amherst along the former Boston and Maine Railroad right‐of‐way. Originates on the west side of the Connecticut River near the Coolidge Bridge (Route 9) and leads into Amherst. Part of the Massachusetts State Park system.

Skinner State Park. Approximately 7 miles from Smith, following Rt. 47 to South Hadley. The summit offers a view of the Valley that is well worth the trip. You can drive to the top or park at the halfway point and climb the rest. There is a hiking trail along the mountain range. Think about making this trip on Mountain Day.


Academy of Music. Academy Live theatre and music events. 274 Main Street, Northampton. (413) 584‐9032.

Amherst Cinema. Independent films. 28 Amity Street, Amherst. (413) 752‐1181.

Calvin Theatre. Live groups and performances. 19 King Street, Northampton. (413) 586‐8686

Cinemark at the Hampshire Mall. Multi‐theatre chain; accessible by the Amherst Bus (PVTA). Twilight movies start around 5:00 pm – cheaper than evening prices. Discount with student ID available all other times. Route 9, Hadley. (413) 587‐4237.

Smith College. The SGA plays top movies in Wright Hall or the Campus Center two nights per week. They're free – right on campus. Bring your own popcorn & soda. Watch for the ads on the board in the Campus Center.


Forbes Library. A wealth of resources can be found here. Calvin Coolidge memorabilia, local history, films, videos, DVD, records, periodicals, and books. Cards are available to any Massachusetts resident with proof of residency. Excellent children’s department that offers story hour and movies. 20 West Street, Northampton.

Jones Library. Cards issued to Massachusetts residents. Contains a good collection of Robert Frost materials in the Special Collections Department. Good selection of mysteries. Large children’s room. 43 Amity Street, Amherst.

Funding Resources:

Small amounts of loan and grant aid for unusual and unpredictable expenses and books over and above the standard financial aid package may be awarded at the discretion of the Ada Class Dean. (There is a maximum allowed per student.) Please do not hesitate to contact Dean Rossi-Reder if you need help.

Other funding resources:

Textbook Assistance - Ada Comstock Scholars may apply for help with textbooks using the Ada Comstock Scholar Emergency Funding for Books (PDF) application form by clicking on the button below. Submit the completed form and attachments to Susan Zachary in College Hall 203.

The Margaret Crofton Balbach '62 Fund for Ada Comstock Scholars offers one-time funding of up to $750 to any current Ada during their enrollment at Smith. The money can cover any reasonable, unanticipated expense. Costs are not limited to expenses during the Academic year, however funding is not available for anything already covered by financial aid. Please find the application by clicking the button below.

The Smith Student Aid Society (SSAS), a separate philanthropic organization, may be able to provide some help with medical emergencies, study abroad or other unexpected needs. "Beyond Smith" provides up to $400 to help seniors with expenses related to job interviews, registration fees for graduate school, etc. Please see their website for more details by clicking the button below.

* There are other college resources as well! Contact Susan Zachary, Assistant to the Dean of the College, College Hall 203 if you need any additional financial assistance. Also, check out the button below for the Grid of Available Funding.

Community Resources & References :

NOTE: This section contains information collected by Adas that may be useful as you settle into the Northampton community. This information is meant to include tips and contact and contact information, not endorsements. If you discover errors, please do not hesitate to contact the Ada Class Coordinator with corrections for the online handbook. Unless otherwise noted, ALL PHONE NUMBERS ARE IN NORTHAMPTON, AREA CODE 413; Springfield, Greenfield, and other outlying towns are outside the local area and you will needs to dial 1-413.

Click on any of the buttons below to find out more!

Words of Wisdom

Schedule time to relax! Exercise is a great stress-buster.

Explore campus and Northampton to find your own favorite places.

Talk with your professors - go to their open hours. For many, Adas are their favorite students.

Don't wait to ask for help. Never worry alone!

Enjoy yourself and your life at Smith. The time will fly by, so try not to have regrets. Get to know other Adas and traditional students too.

Take one step at a time; focusing on big projects can be overwhelming. Just start... and plug away a little at a time.

Get involved your first year! Go to Convocation, Rally Day, Otelia Cromwell Day, etc. Climb a mountain or pick some apples on Mountain Day.

Remember that you do not need to attend everything, pace yourself!

If you are from a warmer climate, prepare yourself for winter weather. Invest in a good coat, boots, hats and gloves.

Read your emails so you will be aware of events, deadlines and opportunities!

If you live on campus, try to get off campus when you can! If you live off campus, try to get on campus when you can!

Try to get settled before the semester begins.

Take naps when needed!!!


Created with images by Sharon McCutcheon - "Dark Purple Liquid Bubbles Wallpaper" • Julien Delaunay - "Deep sky"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a copyright violation, please follow the DMCA section in the Terms of Use.